Course Descriptions

MUS. 100 Fundamentals of Music (3 units)

Explore the cultural basis and historical context of diverse musical styles. Reflect on music notation as a problem solving approach in musical expression using historically significant examples. Learn the basics of music notation in the historical context of the expressive needs that drove the evolution of this system. Go from sound to symbol and symbol to sound by reading pitch and rhythm notation, sight-singing and ear training. Use music theory (scales and chords) to harmonize simple melodies.

MUS. 120 Songwriting Workshop I (3 units)

This course combines the study of lyrics, melody, harmony and form to create songs in a collaborative workshop format. Different techniques are used to get started on lyrics, turning those lyrics into tunes, and finding the right harmonies and forms for the student's new musical creations.

MUS. 202 Music Appreciation (3 units)

Learn about musical terms and ideas and apply that knowledge to many types of music such as popular, classical, jazz, and other forms of music from around the world. Consider different ways of listening to music and learn about the different meanings music can have in entertainment, history, ritual, film and other contexts.

MUS. 210 Histories of Popular Music and Rock (3 units)

This course explores the various intersections of music and American culture in the blues, rock, heavy metal, jazz, soul, R&B, disco and dance music, and hip-hop. The idea of a critical canon, in tension with best-seller lists, is considered.

MUS. 215 Music, Culture and History (3 units)

Explores the evolution of musical styles in the context of cultural expression and social change. Includes a wide range of European music styles and genres across history as well as American jazz.

MUS. 240 Music of the Americas (3 units)

Learn about the rhythms and varieties of music in Latin America and the cultural roots that nurture this exciting form of expression. Music from the Caribbean and South, Central and North America is covered, including genres such as corridos, son, rumba, and tangos. The integral role of Latin influences in the music of the USA and ethnic identities is highlighted.

MUS. 250 World Music (3 units)

Survey of selected listening and readings about cultures such as India, China, Japan, Indonesia, Europe, North America, and Africa. Students learn to use basic musical terminology in describing that music, and to relate music behaviors to the cultural contexts that surround them. Equal emphasis is placed on music and culture.

MUS. 260 Music in Film, Television and Multimedia (3 units)

Appreciate the use of music and sound in film, television and media such as video games for expressive purposes and for the creation of virtual realities. As you analyze scenes, learn about fundamental music, sound design and film concepts.

MUS. 271 Opera and Musical Theater History (3 units)

Explore the highlights in the history of opera from its invention in the Baroque era to contemporary experiments with musical theater included along the way. Class lectures emphasize listening and viewing opera excerpts.

MUS. 275 History of Jazz (3 units)

Understanding and enjoying music by studying the historical development of jazz from a musical and sociological perspective. Topics include discussion of musical elements, vocal and instrumental ensembles, artistic values, and the role of jazz in our culture.

MUS. 301 Piano I (2 units)

This applied music course stresses the basics of piano playing at a beginning level. Students are taught the foundations of piano technique and to read music and to play musically.

MUS. 302 Piano II (2 units)

Continuation of MUS. 301. This course in applied music stresses basics of piano playing at an intermediate level. Students develop further the foundations of piano technique, the ability to play musically, and their repertoire.

MUS. 303 Piano III (2 units)

Continuation of MUS 302. This course in applied music emphasizes the basics of piano playing at an intermediate/advanced level. Students develop further the foundations of piano technique and the ability to play musically, which were begun in Piano I and II, and expand their repertoire.

MUS. 304 Piano IV (2 units)

Continuation of MUS 303. This course in applied music emphasizes the basics of piano playing at an advanced level. Students develop further the foundations of piano technique, the ability to play musically, and their repertoire.

MUS. 371 Guitar I (2 units)

Techniques of guitar performance and reading music to enable beginning students to play compositions written for the guitar. Students must supply their own instruments.

MUS. 372 Guitar II (2 units)

Continuation of MUS. 371. This course covers the techniques of playing the guitar and making music at the intermediate level. Students must supply their own instruments.

MUS. 373 Guitar III (2 units)

Continuation of MUS. 372. Further study of moveable chord and scale structure (CAGED), intermediate/advanced strumming and fingerpicking patterns, intermediate/advanced theory (scale, secondary dominants, and motif development), improvisation, arpeggios and reading music. Emphasis on American music literature. Both individual and group instruction.

MUS. 374 Guitar IV (2 units)

Continuation of MUS. 373. Covers the techniques of playing the guitar at advanced levels. Group and individual attention are included. Students must supply their own instruments.

MUS. 401 Voice I (2 units)

This class offers training in vocal technique, musical expression and performance skills for the beginning singer. Content includes posture, breathing, tone production, music fundamentals, English diction, and performance preparation techniques.

MUS. 402 Voice II (2 units)

Continuation of MUS 401. Training in vocal technique and intermediate performance skills. Course content includes vocal technique (breathing techniques), singing anatomy (breathing musculature), song preparation and interpretation (text, emotional expression), music theory fundamentals (major scales/keys, 16th notes), and English diction (secondary vowels).

MUS. 403 Voice III (2 units)

Continuation of MUS 402. Refinement of vocal technique and performance skills at the intermediate/advanced levels. Course content includes vocal technique (more breathing methods), singing anatomy (larynx), song preparation and interpretation (facial expression, gesture), music theory fundamentals (intervals, triads), and English diction (diphthongs, consonants).

MUS. 404 Voice IV (2 units)

Continuation of MUS 403. Further refinement of vocal technique and advanced performance skills. Content includes vocal technique (resonance), singing anatomy (resonating spaces), song preparation and interpretation (style elements), music theory fundamentals (minor scales/keys, triplets), and English diction (glides, more work with consonants).

MUS. 470.1 Choir I (1 units)

Performance of choral music for accompanied and/or unaccompanied choir at the beginning level. The choir may perform alone or in conjunction with other musical organizations on and off campus. Performance is required.

MUS. 695 Independent Study (0.5- 3 units)

Designed for students who are interested in furthering their knowledge via self-paced, individualized instruction provided in selected areas or directed study to be arranged with instructor and approved by the division dean using the Independent Study Form. Varying modes of instruction can be used -- laboratory, research, skill development, etc. For each unit earned, students are required to devote three hours per week throughout the semester. Students may take only one Independent Study course within a given discipline.